Séries Mania gathers momentum
by Fabien Lemercier
- A jury chaired by David Chase will judge the eight titles in competition at the seventh edition of the event organised in Paris from 15-24 April
Having proven to be very fashionable over the last few years (as demonstrated by its presence in the programmes of major festivals such as Berlin, Venice and Toronto) and extremely popular among the big global broadcasters thanks to its addictiveness and ever-increasing quality, TV series production will be in the limelight from 15-24 April at the Forum des Images in Paris, with the seventh edition of Séries Mania. This passion and enthusiasm is evident from the presence of legendary US writer David Chase (The Sopranos) as chair of the international competition jury; he will be flanked by British screenwriter Tony Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the mini-series Southcliffe) and France’s Fanny Herrero (the creator of the series Dix pour cent).
Standing out among the eight titles in competition is Cannabis (6 × 52 minutes), created by Hamid Hlioua and Sévérine Werba, and directed by Lucie Borleteau (in competition at Locarno in 2014 and nominated for the 2015 César Award for Best Debut Film with Fidelio: Alice’s Journey [+see also:
interview: Lucie Borleteau
film profile]), which gets under way in Spain, as a boat belonging to a drugs baron is held up by Farid. But the attempted robbery goes awry, and this event turns the lives of his family and the entire drug world, from the kingpins to the small-time dealers, upside down. The series, the first two episodes of which will be unveiled as world premieres, was produced by Arte France, Tabo Tabo Films, Arcadia Motion Pictures and Producciones Estrecho AIE, with Lagardère Studios Distribution in charge of its international sales.
Also of note are two Scandinavian titles getting their world premieres. Nobel (8 × 45 minutes), a Monster Scripted production created by Mette Bolstad, Stephen Uhlander and Per-Olav Sorensen, tells the story of the homecoming of a sniper from the Norwegian special forces in Afghanistan, whose mission is still not quite accomplished… Meanwhile, Midnight Sun, created by Mans Marlind and Björn Stein, portrays the misfortunes of a police captain (played by Leïla Bekhti) sent to Sweden because a French citizen has been murdered. With the assistance of a prosecutor, she discovers that this murder is far from being an isolated case… This 8 × 52-minute series produced by Nice Drama and Atlantique Productions, and co-produced by Canal+, SVT and Filmpool Nord, is being sold overseas by StudioCanal.
Also of note is the international premiere of the first two episodes of The Five (10 × 44 minutes), created by famous novelist Harlan Coben, a British production by Red Production Company that is being sold abroad by StudioCanal, as well as the world premiere of Beau séjour (10 × 52 minutes), a Belgian production created by Nathalie Basteyns, Kaat Beels, Sanne Nuyens and Bert Van Dael, produced by De Mensen, sold by Lagardère Studios, and set to be broadcast by VRT and Arte.
The Séries Mania programme also includes, among others, a Panorama of 17 titles, a section with six French-language productions, a selection of 15 US series, a slew of web series, special screenings (including Section Zéro, which was created by Guillaume Laurant and Olivier Marchal, and a work-in-progress version of Marseille, the French series funded by Netflix), conferences and the fourth edition of the European TV Series Coproduction Forum, with 16 projects being showcased.
(Translated from French)